It was official. Somewhere in the past few years, she'd started to fall for thw whack-a-doodle across the hall. Even on day one, something clicked. The way he showed pride in his work, jumping to dismiss Leonard's. Penny knew now that Sheldon just liked to be best, but part of her still wondered. Did Sheldon flirt that first day? If even for a split second? Of course, he wouldn't have known if he had. Letting out a small sigh, she continued to focus on her wondering thoughts, forgetting she wasn't alone.
At the moment, she was sitting next to the beautiful mind, and body, of Sheldon Cooper. Somewhere between her dumplings and lobster low mein, she'd spaced. Which their whole group noticed.
"Uh, bestie?" Penny heard Amy say, nudging her leg. Shaking her head, she looked around. Everyone was staring. "I asked what you thought? I, of course, want my bestie's opinion on such matters." Amy looked concerned. Bernadette simply looked like she was watching something slightly uncomfortable.
Penny glanced around again, unsure what the topic even was. Last she heard about was Comic Con, and agreeing to go as Wonder Woman. Provided she donned a black wig, per Sheldon. There was no way he'd agree to let Wonder Woman be blonde, even with Penny disliking wigs. As he came across her mind again, her face turned bright red. Her thoughts were far less innocent this time. "I… Don't feel so good. I think I'm going to lay down."
Leonard raised an eyebrow at her. They'd dated long enough for him to notice when something was off. "Penny, how many times must I insist that if you are unwell, to refrain from joining us? I am sure that Leonard would be happy to deliver your food, seeing as I assume you have none at your apartment. Again." Sheldon lectured her. Standing up, she didn't even bother with a come back, or packing up the rest of the food. "Now we're all in danger of contracting whatever it is Penny has." He continued, watching her with a slight glare. After she'd gotten him sick the last time, he had an extensive conversation with her about her bringing germs to their little group. She had quickly agreed that she didn't want to get him sick again.
Glancing over her shoulder at Sheldon, she attempted to look pissed, but failed. Instead, there was an unmistable look on her face. One of longing, slight hurt, and a look that the others realized they'd only ever seen aimed at Sheldon. Leonard looked between his best friend and Penny. It seemed everyone in the room, sans Sheldon and Amy, saw the look. "Oh, I doubt that…" Leonard smirked. Raj snickered as Sheldon shot Leonard a look, who simply looked annoyed.
"Least of all you, Sheldon. You're safe." Howard smirked, as well, egging on Sheldon. Penny went wide eyed for a moment before exiting, not wanting to hear the rest of that. Quickly opening her apartment door, she hurried in. Penny let the door slam behind her, still surprised at what just happened. She'd just been day dreaming. About Sheldon, while sitting next to Sheldon's girlfriend. Penny had never been one to act like an embarrassed little school girl around attractive men. As she'd once told Sheldon, she was a 'big ol' five'. Seems he knocked her down a few pegs without realizing it.
Of course Leonard found it funny. Everyone knew Sheldon was clueless and wouldn't catch on. Unless someone explained things to him, or gave him a logical explination, he would continue to believe that she was sick, or getting sick.
Penny had broken things off with Leonard when she realized that while she did love him, it was as a friend. She didn't want to risk it getting too serious and losing him altogether. She valued his friendship, as well as the others. He'd been hurt, but more understanding this time around. It was a bit awkward for a few weeks before they drifted back into a routine.
Sighing, she moved over to the couch and sat down. There was no way she'd be there the next night. Or for Halo night… Her thoughts were inerruppted by a knock at the door. Groaning, she flopped back, eyeing the door. She was hoping it wasn't followed by either three knocks and three "Penny's", or a "bestie". Her prayers were answered a moment later. "Penny? It's Leonard."
"Come in, I guess." She said just loud enough for him to hear. As he walked in, she gave him a small smile.
"So. What was that all about?" He could guess, of course, but wanted to hear her say it. She had the hots for the crazy genius. "Amy's worried. Hopes you aren't getting sick, although she isn't sure what Howard meant." He added, trying not to chuckle.
Penny shrugged. She was an actress, she could act her way out of it. Or try. "Well, um, I haven't been sleeping well, and I've been under a lot of stress at work. I just think it's getting to me." She told him, moving to the side to let him sit. Penny wasn't lying. She hadn't been sleeping well, and she was always stressed. She hadn't gotten another acting job since the commercial a couple months back, and was really starting to doubt that she'd ever be famous. "A few drinks, and some sleep, I'll be fine. Tell Amy I'm not sick, just worn out." That was her story, and she was sticking to it.
"…Really? That's your story? Let's just hope Howard and Bernadette aren't… Explaining some things to Mr. and Mrs. Oblivious over there." He teased. "You know you can talk to me, right? I still care about you." He was slightly worried. Penny looked like a scared puppy in a way, like she was about to be kicked.
Penny didn't know how to respond. He was probably just hoping she'd tell him the truth, not sit here denying it. Especially when Howard was probably making it worse. "I know. Now go. Do damage control before it gets out of control over there." She grinned, imagining Sheldon confused. With a laugh, he nodded and got up before walking to the door. As his hand was on the nob, Penny moved to hug him. "Thanks, Leonard. You're a good friend." She pecked his cheek before he left.
Now all she wanted to do was have some wine and relax. She might even put on Star Trek or something that the guys would be very proud to know that she watched. Not that she ever let on. Sure, she could keep up with most of their conversations by now, but they assumed it was from being around them so much.